A former Buckingham Palace maid was among many South Australians to share their memories of Queen Elizabeth II following the monarch’s death at 96.
- Amber Kemp worked as a cleaner at Buckingham Palace between 2005 and 2006
- Queen Elizabeth II visited SA seven times from 1954 to 2002
- Members of the public can sign a condolence book at Government House over the next two weeks
Amber Kemp, who served the Queen between 2005 and 2006, was woken up by phone calls and text messages on Friday morning informing her of the death of the royal family’s longest-serving monarch.
“I think my overall reaction has been nothing but relief for the Queen, I think she’s worked so hard for so long it’s time for her to take a break and I knew she wouldn’t give up. never before dying,” she said.
Ms Kemp saw with her own eyes how committed the Queen was to her role.
“She was so dedicated to what she did and she never took it for granted,” she said.
“The effects of her uncle’s abdication were lasting and when she said she would serve for life, she really meant it.”
The Hahndorf resident said her role as a maid gave her a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the royal family.
“Hearing her having a casual conversation with Phil or any of the other royals, or hearing her talk about a crossword clue or a quiz she was looking at in that iconic way, was everything. simply the most amazing thing.”
Ms Kemp said the legacy left by Queen Elizabeth was unmatched.
“One of servitude, honesty and kindness – Charles no doubt has big shoes to fill but I think he will certainly put his own stamp on the reign, it will be quite different.”
Adelaide man Tony Salter was the Queen’s butler from 1991 to 1993 and said he would be remembered for her kindness.
“She would stop and talk to us and ask how we were doing, how our day was,” he said.
“Knew our names, which I found quite extraordinary, but she knew all of us, she knew who we were, and she must have had thousands of servants during her reign.”
“I felt like I had almost lost a friend”
The Queen visited South Australia seven times from 1954 to 2002.
Adelaide’s great-grandmother Diana Field was one of hundreds of children who performed a full-scale choreographed dance routine for the Queen at Wayville during her first visit.
“It was really, really exciting,” Ms. Field said.
“The day was beautiful, everything was wonderful.”
Ms Field said she spent years learning the dance routine and felt a sense of occasion even when she was 11.
“When it was over the Queen and the Duke were led around the oval practically among the children and we just ran after her,” she said.
“You know I could have touched the Land Rover as they passed, they were standing in an open back Land Rover waving to everyone so it was very exciting to be so close to her .”
Ms Field said she remembered running through the streets and seeing many glimpses of the young queen when she visited in 1954.
“We would find a vantage point as she passed along Grenfell Street, we would see her, and then we would run down the side streets and see her driving along Rundle Street and North Terrace, etc,” she said. declared.
“So I saw her several times during this visit, which I found quite exciting at the time.
“It was also the crowd that impressed me, everyone was so keen to see our queen…she was a lovely person and everyone who could went to town.”
Ms Field said she then took her own children to see the Queen when the monarch visited Adelaide again in 1977.
“I was determined that they could say they had seen the Queen when they were young,” she said.
Ms Field said she was emotional when she heard the news of the Queen’s death.
“I found it quite touching and moving because she was the queen for most of my life,” she said.
“I’ve always greatly admired and respected her in her devotion to duty and the way she coped with all the ups and downs of life that everyone has and that she seems to be handling so well, so I felt that I had almost lost a friend.”
“She was such a beautiful woman”
Retired horticulturist Alan Mortimer, 78, shared his memory of meeting the Queen in 1986.
“I had Australia’s largest wholesale fern nursery in Gawler, and one of my plants was selected as Jubilee Plant of the Year,” Mr Mortimer said.
“It was a very rare plant, a fern that I called ‘Jubilee Queen’.”
When Queen Elizabeth II visited Adelaide on her royal tour in 1986, Mr Mortimer and his children presented her with the fern.
“She took him back with her to the [Royal Yacht] Britannia with her, as the Queen was a plant lover. It was very unexpected,” Mr. Mortimer said.
“Can you imagine meeting the Queen? I was just an ordinary Aussie living in the bush. It was so special.
“When I met her, I was so nervous, but she made me feel at ease from the first seconds, it was like I was talking to a neighbor or a friend. She was such a beautiful woman.
“It was just one of those unexpected things in life, it was just such a special occasion.”
Residents of the northern suburb of Elizabeth, which was formed in 1955 and is named after the Queen, went to the Playford Civic Center on Friday to sign a book of condolences.
Members of the public can also sign a condolence book at Government House or leave tributes at the statue of Queen Elizabeth over the next 14 days.
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